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Dr. Ralph Drebes

German Head of Private Equity | Notary, Frankfurt

“I specialise in private equity transactions, responding to clients’ instructions with speed, efficiency, in-depth knowledge of the market and a clear understanding of commercial drivers underpinning complex deals.”


Professional experience


Ralph is co-head of the firm’s global financial sponsors sector widely acknowledged as one of Germany’s leading private equity practitioners. Head of the firm’s Germany private equity practice, Ralph advises financial and private equity investors, as well as corporates, on their M&A deals, strategic investments and joint ventures.

Work highlights

Ralph has advised on many market-leading private equity deals. Those of significance where substantial involvement can be disclosed include advising:

  • Apax Partners on the acquisition of Rodenstock Group (eyewear manufacturer)
  • Groupe Bruxelles Lambert on the acquisition of Canyon (bicycle manufacturer)
  • Apax Partners on the acquisition of neuraxpharm, a German pharmaceutical company
  • Waterland Private Equity on the acquisition of most of Rehacon, one of the leading companies for physiotherapy related services in Germany
  • Macquarie on the sale of Techem to a consortium led by Partners Group and including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
  • Apollo Management on the bidding process for the acquisition of Xella Group, a German construction materials business
  • Montagu Private Equity on the acquisition of financial services company Universal-Investment
  • The Gores Group, a Los Angeles-based, global private equity firm on the sale of automotive supplier Hay Group as well as on the previous acquisition, add-on transactions and refinancing
  • Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets on the acquisition of an interest in Energie Steiermark (ESTAG), an Austrian energy company, on the acquisition of Open Grid Europe (OGE), a gas transportation network, as well as on the sale and previous acquisition of Thyssengas (gas transportation network)
  • Terra Firma and RREEF on the sale of Tank & Rast Group, Germany’s largest owner and concessionaire of a network of motorway service areas,  as well as Terra Firma on the previous acquisition, recapitalisation and partial sale to RREEF
  • The Carlyle Group on its (ultimately unsuccessful) bid to acquire Synlab, the German laboratory diagnostic services


Professional experience

Ralph studied law at the University of Bonn and Münster and holds a doctorate in law from the University of Dresden.

He speaks German and English.